The New York Times
Steve Jobs’ attention to detail is nothing new, but what about the 313 patents associated with his name?
Jobs appears as the main inventor or sharing the spotlight with other Apple workers on a huge number of patents, related not only to the look and feel of some of the company’s most iconic products, but also to other more unexpected things such as the design of the glass stairs present in many Apple Stores, the cord of some iPod helmet models, the plastic pieces that hold the cables in place or the white plastic power adapter of the Macs.
The figure is far higher than the CEOs of most technology companies including those where their inventions were instrumental in the success of their businesses. Only nine Microsoft patents bear the name of Bill Gates , the company’s co-founder and CEO for more than two decades until his retirement in 2000. A few more bear the names of Larry Page and Sergey Brin , co-founders of Google with just a dozen patents to their name.
Some technology analysts believe that the number of patents under Steve Jobs’ name could have been artificially inflated by attributing to him inventions that would not be his due to reinforce the image of a visionary CEO but a quick consultation with a specialist reveals the unlikelihood of this since the inclusion of the name of someone who has not been involved in a patent in this one could end up invalidating it.
According to this same specialist, a law professor at Stanford University, Jobs could have played a particularly prominent role in those patents where his name appears first. In all, 33 of them, including two related to glass stairs.
Another interesting filter that shows the frequency with which the co-founder of Apple collaborated hand in hand with the industrial design team led by Jonathan Ive are the more than 200 patents in which both share authorship, highlighting the importance that Jobs has always attributed to design . Let’s hope that the great team of professionals who have worked hand in hand with Steve for years will maintain their obsession with detail and continue to surprise product after product.